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  1. #1

    Default Dillon Powder Measure Tips

    Here is what I have done to make my Dillon powder measures throw more consistent charges with all powders. Not just coarse grained powders like Varget, 4198, ect…

    First remove the plastic hopper from the measure. If its yellow and cracked, order a new one.

    If you look inside you see how rough the inside of the measure is. Its just a aluminum casting.





    I start by hitting the inside with some 440 wet/dry sandpaper to take off the high spots. I also break the edge where the hole is in the bottom. Then I fire up the Foredom (AKA Dremel) and start polishing. I use a small Scrotchbrite wheel for the majority of the work. After it starts looking better, I start up with the felt tips and polishing rouge. Once it looks like a good mirror finished feed ramp, I apply some car polish. Several coats just to make sure it stays pretty and more importantly, slick.





    It is a royal pain to get inside the track where the adjustment bar slides, but it seems to help. Using a piece of flatbar, I just knock off the highspots with some 440 sandpaper. Then using a large diameter felt wheel, I polish the bottom and left (side away from lever linkage) side. Just polish, don’t remove any metal. Try as I might, my camera wont focus that close.

    A big part of adjustment repeatability is the addition of the Uniquetek adjustment knob. With absolutely zero backlash, turning it to X.XX on the dial equals what it did the last time you used it there. Before installing the Uniquetek, I polish the powder bar also. I lightly break the sharp edges on the corners. Try not to remove much metal. Just get it slick. Don’t forget to polish the little notch where the square plastic washer rides. Once installed, consider adding a *very* small amount of grease on the backside of the washer. Probably cant hurt, might help. Here is what the measure looks like with the Uniquetek installed.






    I have a grounding wire running from my 1050s to an outlet to keep the whole machine grounded. I also keep anti static spray close by if I see powder sticking to the side of the measure. Some guys tape a static cling sheet to the outside of the powder hopper, but then I cant see how much powder I have left…

    I also polish the inside of the powder funnel that rides inside the powder die and also where the powder flows through the measure itself. If it is for 223 or another case where compressed charges are likely, I heavily polish the hole and make it as much of a taper as I possibly can. This allows the powder go in the case faster and keeps spilling down to a dull roar. With a good taper and polish job, I can throw 27.0 gns of Varget in a Lake City 223 case without occasional spilling. Before, 26.6-ish was about it.

    Don’t forget to grease the outside rear of the measure where it rides up and down. That is the only place where grease/oil/beeswax *should* be used.

    After doing all this, I can throw 10 charges of Varget and only have a 0.2 (0.3 on a bad day) variance, 0.1 either side of the desired weight.

    As a technique, I pull the handle down somewhat fast and smooth, stopping abruptly at the bottom of the stroke. Every time. This keeps the powder settled so even amounts get dropped. I go up much slower as I am using an auto indexing machine.

    I don’t use any graphite or other dry lubes on the powder bars. It can build up and make the powder bar bind. Gunpowder has enough graphite-ish stuff in it to keep things moving.

    Don’t leave powder in your hoppers, it attracts moisture and can klump up leading to powder “jams.” Fine grained pistol powders are really bad about this. Ask me how I know.

    Lastly, I hate the Dillon low powder sensors and powder check dies and don’t recommend them.
    Last edited by Hoser; 11-16-2008 at 16:12.
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  2. #2
    Chuck Norris' Left Hand 7idl's Avatar
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    pretty neat idea.... one of those "now why didnt I think of that?" things
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  3. #3
    Gong Shooter SigsRule's Avatar
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    My problem with my Dillon is frequently spilling powder when I run out of primers or otherwise get out of synch and then having to take the machine apart to clean under the plate, then get synched starting up again - probably just need more practice like reloading a 1000 or so 5.56 now that I've got a XCR to feed. But first I need to empty 1000 or so 5.56 cases - now how should I go about that - I know - shoot at something. [postal]

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SigsRule
    My problem with my Dillon is frequently spilling powder when I run out of primers
    Doesent your 550 have a low primer buzzer?
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  5. #5
    Gong Shooter SigsRule's Avatar
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    I have a 650 and yes it has the low primer buzzer. I misspoke, my problem is getting it set up. I haven't found an efficient way to do it yet because I haven't used it enough yet and not at all since I moved.

    How do you adjust the powder measure. When starting out I was doing it by running one cartridge through it and at the station where the powder check is taking the cartridge out and measuring the amount of powder dropped, then adjusting the measure, and feeding the cartridge back through until the measure was throwing the right volume. Then you have to make sure the measure doesn't drop any powder until the first cartridge gets there.

  6. #6
    Gong Shooter SigsRule's Avatar
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    Okay, I have to admit that I haven't played with my Dillon since the move about a year and a half ago, so I'm hazy on what my problem was. When I start up again, I'll go through the manual and set up procedures from the start.

    I just remember that when I first got the press, I either ran out of primers or cases or some combination that caused power to be spilled which then necessitated taking the shell plate off to clean the powder up under it. It was a pain in the neck and only occured when switching calibers and setting up the powder measure to drop the right volume. I now have two powder measures and plan to dedicate one to .223 and the other to whichever pistol cartridge I'm shooting the most at the moment. I also plan to get one of those non-hysteresis adjusters for the powder measures - I assume they are now on Dillon's website (I haven't hit it since long before the move either).

  7. #7
    Gong Shooter SigsRule's Avatar
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    Wow, I just checked the prices from Dillon for Carbide .223 dies so I can start reloading for my XCR. I was originally planning to get another die stand, caliber conversion kit, and carbide dies for my XL but the tab came to well over $200. Sticker shock! A good bit of the difference was in the carbide versus regular dies.

    I use carbide dies for my pistol calibers (.44 mag, .357 mag) but haven't been into loading rifle calibers in bulk. Any comments on the value of going with carbide versus regular given the huge difference in price?

  8. #8
    KarlPMann
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    CARBIDE ARE WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD!! :P They stick less. Karl.

  9. #9
    Chuck Norris' Left Hand 7idl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlPMann
    CARBIDE ARE WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD!! :P They stick less. Karl.

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with Karl on this. :roll:
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  10. #10
    the end all be all of everything COAR-15... Marlin's Avatar
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    Isn't that one of the signs of the apocalypse?
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